The Hamlet of Terra Cotta straddles The Town of Caledon and The Town of Halton Hills. I am going to claim it for Caledon, but if you end up looking for housing in this picturesque village, you will have to explore the listings in both towns to cover your bases. Terra Cotta is 5 minutes to Brampton and 10 minutes to Glen Williams and Georgetown. It is a very pretty village along The Credit River so both roads leading in, are scenic and winding.
Terra Cotta has a long and varied history. The village was established in the 1850's under the name of Tucker's Mills; justly named as the entrepreneur, Henry Tucker purchased 40 acres of real estate and carved out 18 village lots. At the time, The Credit River was so full of salmon, it was rumoured that a person could walk across the river on the backs of the spawning Atlantic Salmon!
Unfortunately, as the human population grew, the salmon population fell. The farming community had a number of different names over time, and eventually became known as Terra Cotta in 1891. During that time, the village prospered, not so much because of the gist mill, but because of the limestone and sandstone that were quarried in the area. In 1906 The Terra Cotta Pressed Brick Company opened, making bricks from the red shale right in Terra Cotta. As business flourished, the railway came through, however, this all ended in 1929 when the depression began.
The original 18 village lots still hold many charming cottage homes. The artistic influence in the community reveals itself when you see how many older homes have been kept up and improved over the years. As you drive into Terra Cotta, you can't help but notice some of the larger century homes in the area with rolling lawns and stately old trees. To the north side of Terra Cotta you will find an array of more modern homes that have been built over the past 40 years.
The Terra Cotta Forge is an historic reminder of the villages past. A pavilion has been erected in honour of the village's history and if you stop at this river-side park, you will see an old wheelwright's wheel, a playground and serene picnic spot, plus the tree that used to have a big knotted rope tied to it so we could take turns swinging ourselves out into the middle of the river!!
The Terra Cotta Conservation Area (TCCA) is over 500 acres in The Niagara Escarpment that is being transformed back to its original beauty. There are 12 km of trails for hiking, cross country skiing and bird-watching within the conservation area; it also links up with The Bruce Trail, which winds its way through Caledon. Canoeing and kayaking are allowed in Wolf Lake (in TCCA) as is fishing for Perch or Bass (in season). There is also a picnic pavilion.
Children in Terra Cotta go to Credit View School for Kindergarten to Grade 8 and to Mayfield for Grades 9-12. They would go to Herb Campbell for elementary French Immersion and to Humberview (Bolton) for High School French Immersion. Winston Churchill divides Caledon and Halton Hills, if you are west of Winston Churchill and south of King, check the Halton District School Board.
St. Cornelius and Robert F. Hall are within the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board and offer Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 at their Caledon East location.
In Terra Cotta:
- The Terra Cotta Country Store - Mostly known for its ice cream and creative gifts.
- The Terra Cotta Inn - Fine Dining, English Style Pub on lower level, Summertime Patio plus banquet rooms. The Terra Cotta Inn is a favourite Wedding location.
- Pear Tree Bed & Breakfast is a lovely, modern B&B within a one minute walk of The Terra Cotta Inn & very close to the Caledon Trail. www.peartreebnb.com/
- Terra Cotta Conservation Area - trails, lake, picnic area, fishing
- Bruce Trail - hiking - environmentally sensitive trail
- Caledon Trail - cycling, horseback riding, hiking - no motorized vehicles allowed. This is the old rail trail so it is not as environmentally sensitive. It is also part of the TransCanada Trail.
- Le Tour de Terra Cotta - 2013 was the ninth anniversary for this growing cycling event.
Terra Cotta has a website that they keep up to date: http://www.terra-cotta.ca/